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Retailer Casino to pay interim dividend despite fund critics

Retailer Casino to pay interim dividend despite fund critics
FILE PHOTO: The logo "Le 4 Casino" is seen outside a high-tech store of supermarket retailer Casino in Paris, France, October 4, 2018.REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer   -   Copyright  PHILIPPE WOJAZER(Reuters)
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PARIS (Reuters) – French retailer Casino <CASP.PA>, whose shares have been under pressure due to concerns over the financial situation of parent Rallye <GENC.PA> said it would pay an interim dividend of 1.56 euros per share for 2018, unchanged from the 2017 payout.

Rallye is engaged in a row about how it calculates its accounts, with some hedge funds arguing its methodology flatters the company’s net value. The funds have also criticised the payment by Casino of a dividend.

Casino is the main asset of Rallye, which has a 51 percent stake in the company.

Within the Casino group, dividends from Casino are used to maintain Rallye’s debt interest payments. The shares of Casino that are held by Rallye are also pledged as collateral to banks in order for Rallye to obtain more financing.

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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